The polling stations are now open to elect the first ever elected Mayor for Greater Manchester. The Conservative Candidate is Sean Anstee the Leader of Trafford Council. You can read more about Sean here at www.seananstee.com
Because a different voting system is being used to elect the Mayor voters can express both a first preference and a second preference. Lots of people have said that they only want to vote Conservative and what should they do with the second vote. The answer is that you need not use your second vote if you do not want to.
The polling stations are open until 10pm this evening.
The residents of Bury have voted by a margin of 3 to 2 to reject the proposal that Bury should have an Elected Mayor. The result was:
The turnout was 18.25% and there were 28 papers rejected.
I am pleased that the proposal was rejected and I am only sorry that the whole exercise has cost the taxpayers of Bury a sum likely to be in excess of £100,000 and this money could have been better spent on other Council services.
Today, Thursday 3rd July sees the whole of the Borough of Bury going to the polls just a couple of months after the May local elections. This time the only question facing the residents of Bury is whether ir not they want to replace the present system of local Government with a system under which there would be an Elected Mayor who would hold all Executive power. All the existing Councillors would still remain but they would have less powers. There would be a whole new set of costs imposed on local Council Tax payers. Not only would there be the salary of the new full time Mayor but there would also be a Deputy Mayor and the new Mayor will need an office which will need staffing. The costs have been estimated to be up to a quarter of a million pounds a year.
I believe all this is totally unnecessary and unwanted. I receive dozens of representations every week on all sorts of problems but not once has anyone ever said to me that what they wanted to see was yet another elected politician. Everyone in Bury can vote today, if you are not a postal voter you can simply go to your normal polling station. If you have a postal vote and have not sent it back yet you can complete it and hand it in at a polling station. Whichever method you use I urge you to use your vote and vote NO.
I think the Referendum which is to take place on the third of July as to whether or not Bury is run by an elected Mayor is now beginning to attract the interest of Bury residents. This I suspect is mainly because the polling cards have been delivered and people are wondering why. The principal argument of the group who want an elected Mayor is that such a politician would be able to stop the congestion charge ( the travel to work tax as I prefer to call it ). This of course is nonsense. An elected Mayor would simply have one vote at the meeting of Leaders of Greater Manchester Authorities just like the Leader of Bury Council has. In view of the fact that the Conservative controlled Bury Council is pledged to oppose the new tax I can not understand what the pro-elected mayor group are concerned about. What I do know is that no one has ever suggested to me that the answer to Bury’s problems is yet another politician!
On Wednesday evening I attended the last normal scheduled meeting of Bury Council. The main new major item that had to be considered was the referendum on whether Bury has an elected Mayor. Now that the required numbers of voters have signed a petition calling for a referendum on whether there should be an elected mayor Bury Council has no choice but to hold such a referendum and the referendum will take place on 3rd July. I am completely opposed to Bury having an elected mayor, we already have enough politicians in Bury and I can not see how having yet another elected politician will help solve any of the problems that Bury faces. I will cover this subject more in the weeks and months ahead.